Three Kazakh women have so far applied for candidacy in the country’s presidential election on April 3.
Soon, the era of exclusively male leadership will come to an end in Kazakhstan and the country will be ruled by a woman, predicts Guldana Takbaeva, one of the aspirants and a 57-year-old former journalist.
Another candidate, Maira Karamaeva, 53, claims she has unique “bioenergy” that enables her to heal people, body and soul. She treats patients at her own private practice.
The last Kazakh woman vying for presidency is Meiramkul Kozhagulova, who, according to election officials, hasn’t divulged her occupation or place of work. Kozhagulova, however, said she is the head of a family center in her native Aktobe province.
Kazakhstan’s long-serving President Nursultan Nazarbayev is also bidding for re-election next month.
Other contenders in the election include Gani Kasymov, leader of the Party of Patriots, Communist People’s Party Chief Zhambyl Akhmetbekov, and environmentalist Mels Yeleusizov, who says he is only running to raise awareness about green issues.
Critics deride these candidates as nominal opposition put in place to make the election appear democratic. Nobody questions whether Nazarbayev is going to win, but many instead wonder just how crushing his victory is going to be. ♦
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.